MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday expressed his gratitude to all frontliners who are still working to provide essential services as the country fights the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Duterte, in a video message, thanked all the health care workers in the country.
"First, let me reiterate my sincerest gratitude to all our courageous frontliners in this war, especially our healthcare workers—our doctors, nurses, medical technologists, and other allied health professionals," he said.
"Maraming-maraming salamat. Asahan niyo ang suporta ng inyong gobyerno," Duterte added.
He also expressed his sadness over the death of some of the medical frontliners who have passed on while performing their duty.
"I am saddened by the news that the virus has claimed the lives of our doctors along the way. Lahat po sila ay bayani and not only that, talagang bumilib ako. Bihira akong sumasaludo ng tao pero ‘pag mga doktor natin, mga health workers na nadisgrasya, talagang saludo ako sa inyo. Wala na kayo dito sa mundong ito pero ganun na lang ang pagtingin ko sa inyo," Duterte said.
The President, likewise, thanked government officials and staff who are working hard to help manage the health emergency.
"To the able officials and staff of the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases, thank you for staying on top of this situation," Duterte said.
"To the brave men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, thank you as well for ensuring peace and order in these trying times," he added.
Duterte extended his gratitude to all the other frontliners, including those in the private sector, for continuing to provide other essential services and products.
"I also thank the rest of the frontliners who ensure that basic services are provided to our people, from those manning various government agencies, groceries, banks, food establishments, and delivery services, among others. Maraming, maraming salamat po," he said.
"To the gracious members of the private sector who are foregoing profit to alleviate the suffering of our people; to the valiant volunteers who are bravely supplementing our frontliners; [and] to the noble civil society organizations who are working tirelessly in calling for donations and performing charity work— Thank you very much for your kindness, compassion and generosity," Duterte added.
Duterte earlier placed the entire Philippines under a state of public health emergency and later a state of calamity to provide the government with enough leeway to tap into emergency funds for response to the pandemic.
The President will be getting additional powers more than a week after Luzon, the Philippines’ most populous island, was placed under a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 which has infected 552 people in the country as of Tuesday afternoon.